Are weight loss drugs effective for long term weight loss and improving health?
- Rucker, D., Padwal, R., Li, S.K., Curioni, C., Lau, D.C.W., 2007. Long term pharmacotherapy for obesity and overweight: updated meta-analysis. BMJ 335, 1194–1199.
- 19,619 participants across 30 trials.
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.
- Compared with a placebo, Orlistat reduced weight by an average of 2.9 kg, Sibutramine by 4.2 kg, and Rimonabant by 4.7 kg.
- Patients receiving active drug treatment were significantly more likely to achieve 5% and 10% weight loss thresholds.
- Orlistat reduced the incidence of diabetes and improved cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and glycaemic control in patients with diabetes but increased rates of gastrointestinal side effects and slightly lowered concentrations of high density lipoprotein.
- Sibutramine lowered concentrations of good cholesterol and triglycerides but raised blood pressure and pulse rate.
- Rimonabant improved concentrations of good cholesterol and triglycerides, blood pressure, and glycaemic control in patients with diabetes but increased the risk of mood disorders.
- Yes (with confidence)
- Potential conflict of interest from one of the authors.